Workwear is an often overlooked area of business spending, yet it can have a massive impact on Brand and Employee Morale. The UK spend on workwear is estimated to hit well over £550 million in 2017, approximately 5% of all UK clothing purchased is workwear. Over 90% of workwear is imported, mainly from Asia, so is impacted by exchange rates and events like Brexit.
Recent figures suggest that over 50% of all UK employees wear corporate workwear.
Workwear has its roots in services like Royal Mail and the Police, this type of workwear is used to identify employees as well as re-inforce the brand. Workwear, often has a ‘protective’ role as well, such as overalls or chefs tunics.
Brand values can be effectively re-inforced by staff wearing smart, attractive, branded clothing. One recent trend is for all all employees in a company, including management to wear the same uniform, promoting the idea that everyone has the same status.
Whilst this guide doesn’t cover Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it’s worth mentioning that all PPE should be sourced from reputable companies such as The Printing House and once owned it should be maintained to keep it in good order.
See Our 5 Reasons to Offer Branded Workwear to Your Employees blog post.
If you are doing Corporate Uniform for the first time, then read our blog post above “5 Reasons to Offer Branded Workwear to Your Employees” and decide on the reasons applicable to your business. You are then in a position to approach us at The Printing House and start a discussion of what you need.
The standard that you adopt for your workwear will need to be formed from the inputs listed below;
Finance – Budgets need to be set. The most cost effective solution is 3 Branded Polos and 2 pairs of trousers to all employees. With Branded High Vis Vests to anyone working in traffic or forklift zones. But you can go as far as to offer waterproof coats, shoes, fleeces, hats etc.
Marketing – Obviously, one of the key reasons for having workwear is to support marketing by making your brand more visible. It’s vital to involve marketing at an early stage.
Operations – Operational managers need to be brought into the process, partly as they often have input regarding practicality, but also, it is important to get them to ‘buy into’ the process. They will also have important views on how durable the workwear should be dependent on the type of role being performed.
Health & Safety – if you are planning something more than just Polo Shirts & Trousers then its a good idea to involve your health & safety team. They can look at requirements such as steel toe capped shoes, and ensure that what you choose is compliant.
HR – The HR department is usually the one tasked with the issuing of uniform, incorporating the requirements into employment contracts and ensuring general appearance standards are upheld. This can be particularly complex if different uniforms apply to different departments. Other factors such as provision for pregnancy, disabled employees, religious concerns etc
I know what kind of Workwear I want. What Now?
Sit down with a reputable workwear supplier and present them with an overview of what you need, and ideally an idea of budget and start to build your workwear portfolio.
Points for discussion;
What Items of Workwear to have – Choose from Polo Shirts, Formal Shirts, Trousers, Coats, Gilets, Caps, Hats, High-Vis. Then using your budget it can be decided on the quality/brand of each item. But remember the old adage ‘buy cheap, buy twice’, this can be particularly true with workwear.
What Type of Decoration (Print/Embroidery) Should you use – At The Printing House we offer most print processes suitable for clothing. Note that some processes are more durable than others, this is particularly valid for items that will be washed continually or that need to be washed at hot temperatures. As a rule, embroidery is the toughest, but doesn’t handle small letters or complex logos as well. Vinyl is next most durable and is very vibrant. For more complex logos transfer printing is usually the best alternative. We also offer DTG (Direct to Garment Printing), but it is more suited to clothing that won’t be washed continually, so its ideal for issue to sales staff at exhibitions.
What are the lead times – For most orders allow 5 to 10 working days. If you have an emergency requirement then we can often work to very short lead times, but it does vary dependent on what capacity we have in production.
How will I order – For most customers the easiest way is to email a list of items and sizes, but if you are likely to be ordering weekly, then we can build you your own branded website portal that you can use to order items – that way you can see what has been ordered and keep track of what has been delivered. Ask us if you feel that this is something that you would benefit from.